“To help a man is like reviving an assassin who has designs on your life. … A sense of obligation engenders a sense of hate.”
This book of monologues contains twenty-five short, pithy, often cynical, prose pieces from the acerbic pen of the late nineteenth-century writer, Vincent O’Sullivan. First published in 1899, the collection captures the aesthetics of the Decadence movement with its emphasis on excess, transgression and sensuality. O’Sullivan’s circle included Oscar Wilde, Leonard Smithers, Aubrey Beardsley and other fin-de-siècle luminaries.
O’Sullivan provides each monologue with an enigmatic mononym, such as ‘Sob’, ‘Wear’, ‘Crave’. A concept that is extended in this edition by the inclusion of images, notably Beardsley’s “The Litany of Mary Magdalen”, to accompany, but not necessarily to illustrate, the prose.
Vincent O’Sullivan (1868–1940) was born into a prosperous Irish American family in New York and moved to London as a child. He spent much of his life in the demi-monde world that is the setting of his books and stories, ultimately dying penniless and being buried in a pauper’s grave in Paris.
The writer Robert Aickman wrote of O’Sullivan that: "Having lived a longish life as a more or less well-to-do rentier, in latish middle age found himself ruined, wrote his last book under terrible conditions, and, dying in Paris, ended anonymously in the common pit for the cadavers of paupers."
Other books by Vincent O’Sullivan that are also published by Solis Press:
Paperback, 234mm × 156mm; 72 pages | illustrated with photographs
Also available as an ebook
Aubrey Beardsley: “The Litany of Mary Magdalen”.
© Solis Press